This Week in Social Distancing
They say that July 4 marks the beginning of the end of the summer. The season seems to have just begun, but the holiday marks the day that everything starts to head south, when the countdown starts, when all the things that happen are just bumps on the road to an inevitable fall.
They say that like it’s a bad thing. Don’t people know that fall is the best season?
By the way, just who is this “they” we always talk about? They say it might rain tonight. They say it’s okay to eat food off the floor if it’s only five seconds. They say it’s gonna be a close election this year. They say laughter is the best medicine.
Are these all the same “they”?
Some social distancing notes from the past week:
Professional sports are coming back, but not for everyone. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price has announced he’s sitting out the shortened 2020 season just to be safe. Same goes for Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers, DeAndre Jordan of the Brooklyn Nets, and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals.
The Young and the Restless plans to go back into production next week, with safety precautions of course.
Brooks Brothers, the 202-year-old clothing company, has filed for bankruptcy protection, joining J.C. Penney, J. Crew, and Nieman-Marcus.
It’s not a cure or a vaccine, but a Harvard professor has developed a nasal spray that could reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will start their reopening tomorrow, July 11. Here’s a sneak peek at what it will be like.
And something to keep in mind during these times: Library books are not Hot Pockets.
Yes, There Was a Hot Dog Eating Contest This Year
Not even a pandemic could stop the annual Fourth of July Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Sure, this year they held it at an undisclosed location with no fans, and the contestants were surrounded by Plexiglas, but champion Joey Chestnut still beat his own record. He ate 75 hot dogs (and buns!) in 10 minutes. The female winner, Miki Sudo, beat her own record too, downing 48½ hot dogs and buns. What, she couldn’t finish that last half a hot dog?
Congratulations to the winners. I probably haven’t eaten 75 hot dogs in my entire life.
About That Whole “One Dog Year Equals Seven Human Years” Thing …
That’s dog as in “canine,” not “hot.” Turns out the old common wisdom about how dogs age isn’t really true.
Let’s Go to Walmart and Watch a Movie
While some movie theaters are opening — with many restrictions — many will remain closed. To fill the gap, drive-ins are making a comeback. Actually, they’ve been on their way back for a couple of years now.
In a move that probably won’t thrill movie theater owners trying to reopen, Walmart will turn 160 of their parking lots into makeshift drive-in theaters. The theaters will open in August and feature family-friendly movies in a contact-free area. It’s a collaboration with Tribeca Enterprises. Food and drink won’t be served in the parking lots, but families can order what they want at a Walmart and pick it up curbside on the way to the movie. The movies will run through October.
Video of the Week
It’s not every day you see a bird carrying off a shark-like creature, but it looks like the SyFy Channel has their next franchise.
(Uploaded to YouTube by The Independent)
RIP Ennio Morricone, Charlie Daniels, Bruce Fretts, Nick Cordero, Kevin Rafferty, Marvyn Roy, and Henry Martin
Ennio Morricone composed music for hundreds of films, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Untouchables, La Cage aux Folles, The Mission, The Thing, Bugsy, The Hateful Eight, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He died Monday at the age of 91.
Charlie Daniels was the country fiddler known for such songs as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” and “Uneasy Rider.” He died Monday at the age of 83.
(Uploaded to YouTube by Charlie Daniels)
Bruce Fretts was a veteran television critic whose work was seen in Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, The New York Times, Closer Weekly, and other publications. He died last week at the age of 54.
Nick Cordero received a Tony nomination for his role in Bullets Over Broadway and also starred in such shows as Waitress, Rock of Ages, and A Bronx Tale. He also had several television roles. He died Sunday at the age of 41.
Kevin Rafferty was the filmmaker who co-directed the documentaries The Atomic Cafe and The Last Cigarette and directed Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. He was also the cinematographer on Roger and Me and The War Room. He died last week at the age of 73.
Henry Martin was a veteran cartoonist and illustrator whose work appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The Saturday Review, and Good Housekeeping. He also did illustrations for books and corporate clients, drew the syndicated comic strip Good News/Bad News, and even designed board games. He died last month at the age of 94.
This Week in History
The Siege of Vicksburg Ends (July 4, 1863)
The last major battle in the Vicksburg campaign of the Civil War started on May 18. The victory by Major General Ulysses S. Grant and his army helped lead to the Confederate surrender.
Merv Griffin Born (July 6, 1925)
Sure, he was a singer and talk show host, but he cemented his pop culture legacy by creating two of the most successful TV shows of all time, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
Griffin also appeared on the cover of our October 1979 issue.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Van Camp’s Pork and Beans (July 7, 1953)
The Van Camp’s company was formed in the early 1860s and supplied food to Union troops during the Civil War. “Stokely” refers to brothers John and James Stokely, who later bought the company. It was sold to Quaker Oats in 1983. They later sold it to ConAgra, which still produces the beans and a million other products you probably use.
July Is National Baked Bean Month
Sure, canned baked beans are great (besides Van Camp’s, I like the Friend’s brand), but there are other ways to serve them too. They’re usually taken for granted, as a side dish, an afterthought, but here are some creative recipes you might want to try.
From the September 1, 1948, issue of our sister publication The Country Gentleman come several ideas for a backyard cookout, including Hawaiian Baked Beans. Food.com has a recipe for Ozark Baked Beans, which include ketchup and pickle relish. And of course no list of baked bean recipes is complete without the American classic Boston Baked Beans, which have brown sugar, molasses, mustard, and bacon.
They say baked beans go great with hot dogs. Maybe even 75 of them.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Bastille Day (July 14)
This French National Day marks the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and celebrates the unity of the French people on the same day a year later. It became an official holiday in 1880.
National Nude Day (July 14)
You can celebrate this day any way you want to (but wear a mask).
Tax Day (July 15)
Because of COVID-19, the usual tax filing date of April 15 was extended this year. You can celebrate this any way you want as well.
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